Whose National Music?
Identity, Mestizaje, and Migration in Ecuador
Publication: Sep 12
Publication: Sep 12
6 x 9
18 figures, 19 halftones, 1 map
How class divisions shape the definition of Ecuador's national music and identity.Read the Introduction (pdf).
A title in the Ethnomusicology Multimedia.
Musical genres, musical instruments, and even songs can often capture the essence of a country's national character. In Whose National Music?, the first book-length study of Ecuadorian popular music, Ketty Wong explores Ecuadorians' views of their national identity in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries through an examination of the music labels they use. Wong deftly addresses the notion of música nacional, an umbrella term for Ecuadorian popular songs often defined by the socio-economic, ethnic, racial, and generational background of people discussing the music.
Wong shows how the inclusion or exclusion of elite and working-class musics within the scope of música nacional articulate different social, ethnic, and racial configurations of the nation for white, mestizo, indigenous, and Afro-Ecuadorian populations.
Presenting a macropicture of what música nacional is—or should be— Whose National Music? provides a lively historical trajectory of a country's diverse musical scene.
"Wong has produced a very important work—the first comprehensive book on Ecuadorian popular music with interviews, a thorough, readable study of the local record industry, and participant-observation fieldwork. She succeeds in linking the issues of national identity with popular music, explaining música nacional , the history of the pasillo , of the musica rocolera , of musica chicha and the tecnocumbia . Her arguments are solid and her theoretical approach is informed."
—Raul R. Romero, Director of the Institute of Ethnomusicology at the Catholic University of Peru
"Whose National Music? introduces an analysis rich in historical depth and socio-musical complexity of the idiosyncratic, changing, and inevitably contested use of the term música nacional in Ecuador. Ketty Wong provides a fascinating discourse analysis, one that focuses on the power of language to claim and label music as a participatory act in imagining the nation."
Table of Contents
List of Multimedia Examples
1 | The Nation in Bloom: A Search for “Ecuadorianness”
2 | La Música Nacional: An Anthology of Songs
3 | The Pasillo: Rise and Decline of the National Song
4 | Rocolera Music: New Urban Sounds in the City
5 | Chichera Music: The “Tropicalization” of Música Nacional
6 | The Tecnocumbia Boom in Ecuador: “A Letter with My Kisses Sent with Love by Internet”
7 | The Translocation of Ecuadorian Popular Music
Epilogue: Whose National Music?
Glossary of Ethnic and Musical Terms
About the Author(s)
In the Series
Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music edited by Peter Manuel
Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music, edited by Peter Manuel, aims to present interdisciplinary studies in the traditional and contemporary musics of Latin America and the Caribbean.